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Month: December 2015

The Spell of the Yukon and Other Verses

The Spell of the Yukon and Other Verses by Robert W. Service

The Spell of the Yukon and Other Verses by Robert W. Service

Known as the Bard of the Yukon and as a people’s poet, Robert Service immortalized his experience with the Yukon and its gold rush and this collection of poetry. While some poems are anecdotal and amusing, others capture the raw brilliance that frontiers evoke and the ever pioneering spirit of man. Alternately titled Songs of a Sourdough in the United Kingdoms.

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Fast in the Ice

Fast in the Ice by R. M. Ballantyne

Fast in the Ice by R. M. Ballantyne

At the age of 16 Ballantyne went to Canada and was six years in the service of the Hudson’s Bay Company. His rule in writing, being in every case, was to write as far as possible from personal knowledge of the scenes he described.

In this book he details the lives of the crew as they must overwinter in the frozen north including their meetings with Eskimos and bears and their struggles with disease. This is a realistic account of what life was like for the explorers of the Arctic.

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The San Francisco Calamity By Earthquake and Fire

The San Francisco Calamity By Earthquake and Fire by Charles Morris

The San Francisco Calamity By Earthquake and Fire by Charles Morris

The first half of this book describes the devastating earthquake that hit San Francisco in 1906, and the subsequent destruction caused by fire. Various eyewitnesses and victims give their account on the tragedy.

In the second half, a number of different other earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are retold, like the eruption of the Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeij or the explosion of the Krakatoa, together with scientific explanations for the causes of earthquakes and the eruption of volcanos.

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Unbeaten Tracks in Japan

Unbeaten Tracks in Japan by Isabella L. Bird

Unbeaten Tracks in Japan by Isabella L. Bird

Unbeaten Tracks in Japan is compiled of the letters she sent to her sister during her 7 months sojourn in Japan in 1878. Her travels there took her from Edo (now called Tokyo) through the interior – where she was often the first foreigner the locals had met – to Niigata, and from there to Aomori. There she crossed over to Yezo (Hokkaido), and her account on the life of the Ainu, an indigenous people of Japan, provides an interesting glimpse of days long past.

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